Thibodeau makes Payne first hire to coaching staff

12 Aug 2020 / 04:11 H.

    New York Knicks new head coach Tom Thibodeau pried Kenny Payne away from Kentucky for the first addition to his coaching staff, the team announced Tuesday.

    Payne, 53, spent the past decade with Kentucky head coach John Calipari.

    "I'm thrilled that Kenny has joined my staff as an assistant coach. He has an outstanding ability to forge relationships with players and improve their skills," Thibodeau said in a statement. "He knows what it takes to win and has learned from one of the best coaches there is in John Calipari. Kenny will be a tremendous addition to our organization."

    Payne has a long relationship with Knicks president Leon Rose and senior vice president William Wesley.

    Payne averaged 3.5 points per game after a four-year career in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. He played in 144 games (13 starts) after winning a national championship at the University of Louisville.

    Payne was taken in the first round of the 1989 NBA draft by the Sixers.

    --Field Level Media

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